LookSmart Broadens InfoSpace Deal

Pay-for-performance search engine LookSmart will expand its relationship with content and search syndication firm InfoSpace .

The move will see LookSmart’s paid search listings being extended to Bellevue, Wash.-based InfoSpace’s new meta-search product. On Monday, the company began distributing meta-search to the Excite Network’s excite.com and WebCrawler.com.

Terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Prior to the agreement, LookSmart already had a deal with InfoSpace to provide paid-search listings for Dogpile.com and MetaCrawler, which each syndicated InfoSpace’s search. Now, the San Francisco-based firm gains another point of interaction with Excite users.

“LookSmart’s search listings produce highly relevant results for users of our meta-search products, including the next generation engine launched at Excite and WebCrawler,” said York Baur, executive vice president of wireline and broadband at InfoSpace. “We are thrilled to continue to build our longstanding relationship with LookSmart, as its support and results play an important role in our efforts to continue to lead and drive the meta-search category.”

The news comes amid continued efforts by the major paid search engine players, whose cost-per-click business models depend greatly on reach, to jockey for the widest distribution of their results.

In the highest-profiled battle, Overture and Google recently concluded their sparring over the biggest portal players, with Overture signing MSN and Yahoo! to long-term deals, while Mountain View, Calif.-based Google took over Overture’s old contract with AOL Time Warner .

LookSmart, for its part, has been content to focus on the second-tier of online properties, with Yahoo! Australia joining its roster in recent weeks. But the company is also looking to differentiate itself by the quality of its search engine listings, which, unlike Overture, are ranked both by the amount advertisers are willing to pay, and by relevance.

“LookSmart is pleased to expand its relationship with InfoSpace by playing a significant role in the new search product that is served on Excite and WebCrawler,” said Scott Stanford, senior vice president of business development for LookSmart. “LookSmart will meet an immediate need for high-quality search results and we look forward to continue working together to create great search for users of InfoSpace’s properties.”

Last month, LookSmart also closed on its acquisition of WiseNut, a search technology provider that aims to rival the accuracy of Google’s widely-acclaimed search results.

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